A mixed longitudinal study of the occlusion and arch dimensions from 4 to 11 years of age was made on fifty-five children with solitary palatal clefts. A cephalometric study was also made on thirty of these patients when they were approximately 10 years of age. The palatal closure was made by means of a modified von Langenbeck procedure at a mean age of 1 year 9 months. The frequency of cross-bite in the deciduous dentition was comparable with that in children without clefts. As in other studies, an impairment of the occlusion was seen with increasing age. The children showed retrognathic faces and the difference between the cleft children and the noncleft children was of the same magnitude as in other studies. It was found that the arch dimensions and the craniofacial morphology were influenced by the size of the cleft, while the occlusion was not. The craniofacial morphology in the present investigation was comparable to that in other studies where a push-back technique had been used, but the frequency of cross-bite was lower. Thus, it would appear that the type of surgery influences the occlusion more than it affects the craniofacial morphology.
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